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2019-2020 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Waller Man Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

(AUSTIN) –Thomas Barnes of Waller, Texas was presented the Leonard Davis Award during the Governor’s 2020-2021 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards program today.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Patrick O’Daniel and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during an online ceremony.

“These volunteers give their time and talents to help others throughout Texas,” said O’Daniel. “They selflessly serve because they feel a responsibility to help others.”

“These volunteers dedicate themselves daily to helping others succeed,” said Collier. “In the coming years, the scope of the precious time and effort that they invested will be evident across the State of Texas.”

The award is named in recognition of Leonard Davis who passed away in 2009. He was the honored recipient of this award in 2005, 2007, 2008 and posthumously in 2010 when the award was re-named in his honor.

Mr. Barnes, a certified volunteer chaplain’s assistant (CVCA), has been a volunteer since 2001. He has show exemplary dedication and faithfulness at the Pack Unit for the last three years, working with unit field ministers, facilitating chaplaincy programming and completing daily administrative tasks given to the Chaplaincy Department. During the pandemic, he has continued to volunteer at the Pack Unit, three to four times a week for seven hours each day. He has served more than 1,100 volunteer hours during fiscal year 2020. He responds to inmates’ requests, facilitating their phone calls, communicating with staff regarding DVD scheduling for inmates and coordinating indigent supplies with outside sources for inmates’ use. He has proven to be an invaluable team member for the Pack Unit Chaplaincy Department.

Mr. Barnes is one of 16 individuals and 6 organizations from across the state recognized for their efforts to help offenders and those who are on parole or probation. They donate many hours of their personal time every year with the goal of changing the lives of convicted offenders and aiding and comforting their victims.

In FY2020, there were 19,589 volunteers who provided a total of 220,502 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jeremy Desel, TDCJ Director of Communications, at (936) 437-6052 or by e-mail at jeremy.desel@tdcj.texas.gov.